This morning, I had a dream that I was in Boulder, (Utah) and that I was putting up a play. Once again, the circumstances of the production were difficult, and to top it off, I dreamed that I was trying to do a Beckett play, even though I admit, Beckett is difficult for me to understand. The space where I was putting up the play was in disarray, and there were a few people standing around looking at me blankly. Someone came up to me, (I'll keep the that someone anonymous) and ask me why I was trying to do another play when what I should be doing was what every one else was doing. The conversation started out with curiosity, and then quickly escalated to a sharp conflict. Then, the person left me, and I turned around and looked at the production laying everywhere and questioned myself. Why would I choose to do a Beckett play in this seemingly de Chirico setting? Why would I choose to do something that I didn't understand in the first place? Why would I think I could bring a Beckett play to an audience that really didn't even want it? Why would I keep torturing myself with these delusions of grandeur? The answer to these questions is simple. I don't know. Is it some strange form of self-destruction that I can't stop? Is it the escape from the despair I feel when things seem ordinary and homogenized? More questions, but there is definitely something very Jungian going on here. In an attempt to understand these depressive episodes, it occurs to me that the artistic arc I have made of my life has all been an attempt to escape the mundane act of living. Or, an escape from the act of not finding meaning in everything. I don't know how to rest. In essence, it is my attempt to find an escape from a level of ordinariness that I find totally isolating and despairing. And now I am trapped within it. There is no play that I can do. There is no act of creating that I can muster up, for I have lost everything today, even love.
Please understand, that this is what I must feel today, there isn't anyway out of these feelings except the hope of another day to feel differently. When I read Beckett's biography several years ago, I found that my body, my blood pressure, my fight or flight tendencies where in full blown readiness the whole time I experienced his life. The first time I saw 'Waiting For Godot', (waiting for god) I couldn't stop thinking about it and it stays with me to this day. It was the power of theatre in its most primeval, and yet posed existential questions that were so profound, I found them impossible to forget. It was like being touched by God, and the notion that all of life was spent waiting for God to come. That there was no escaping the human condition of being trapped in a body until it returned to dust in a manner that was not of our own choosing, unless we found courage to end it by our own hand. That each day would be a variation on the one before it, and escape was impossible. For Beckett, I think it was his own feelings of isolation, and his own willingness to face his own demons, which was a courageous act. For respite, he had to see them and feel them with all of his senses, which is what theatre enables.
This morning, I found that my dreaming life profoundly effected my waking life, and I had no way of stopping the actions that were irreversible, to once again break down and challenge what has been given to me, I think, to try to make some sense of the black cloud that is consuming me. Perhaps it is chemical, perhaps as I age I am loosing that chemical in my brain that allows some levity and excitement to keep me in balance. It seems to me that if I am not creating I am not in control of these feelings. Perhaps I'm going mad. Perhaps my medication is not working. Perhaps I am facing the fact that all of my ideas on love, on creation, and on life have all been delusional, and that in the act of doing theatre I've been able to create my own absurd notion of how it should be and how to make sense of it all. And now that act of creation seems so far away.
I look at my wreck of a truck, I look at the condition of my body, I look at the condition of my mind and spirit, and think, how did I get here? How did I suppose that the act of creating something I could understand render me so helpless? The answer, I don't know. I only know that lately, when I go to bed at night, I feel the fatigue of a man who has worked all day at seemingly nothing but the thoughts in my brain, like the character in 'Notes From the Underground'. I remember reading Kafka and hating it, but today, I think I understand that transformation into the cockroach. When I needed a spiritual experience, I used to be able to find the energy and the motive to reach for it, today I feel as though it's far beyond my reach. It just occurred to me that this is what it feels like to lose love, but also to push it out of my life for no seemingly good reason. Has my insecurity reached a point where I am not even capable of keeping love and intimacy in my life?
Well readers, we have all felt the awful pain of love leaving, perhaps this is just my own expression of what it feels like to the playwright. Perhaps it is a gage of how deeply we suddenly found ourselves in its hand, and then to suddenly lose it, well, okay, it just hurts, and there is nothing to be done, nothing to be done to change it…